ARLINGTON, Texas - The women of Team Singapore had a banner year on the Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour in 2016, winning a total of three titles and two majors, kick started by Bernice Lim's victory at the United States Bowling Congress Queens.
The 25-year-old right-hander will return to defend her title at the 2017 event, taking place at the Raising Cane's River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, from May 17-23. The finals will be broadcast May 23 at 10 p.m. Eastern on CBS Sports Network.
Lim, who qualified second for last year's stepladder at The Orleans Bowling Center in Las Vegas, averaged 243 in her two wins to claim the tiara, including a 248-223 victory in the finals against Sweden's Sandra Andersson.
As the strikes added up for Lim on the 2016 Queens TV show, she stayed relaxed and focused by working with a Rubik's Cube.
Lim's prowess for solving the puzzle may have garnered some attention as she became the first player from Singapore to win the Queens, but having her teammates by her side throughout training and during the week in Las Vegas helped her to, and in, that moment.
Eight players from Singapore competed at the 2016 Queens, with each advancing to the double-elimination match-play bracket. Nine players from Singapore will travel to the 2017 event.
"I am really proud to be part of such a successful team," said Lim, the sixth international player to win the Queens. "It also pushes me to continually improve myself and learn new things because everyone always is at the top of their games. It's truly an honor to be the first Singaporean to win the Queens. Having my teammates by my side definitely gave me a lot of support and confidence going into the TV finals. It feels comforting to know they sort of represent everyone back at home also cheering me on."
Lim's teammates, Cherie Tan and New Hui Fen, also were victorious during the 2016 PWBA season. Tan won the PWBA Storm Sacramento Open, and New captured the season-ending Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship on her way to being named PWBA Rookie of the Year.
While her teammates made a splash in a limited run during the 2016 PWBA Tour season, Lim only competed in the Queens stateside. As an amateur, her win did not count as an official PWBA Tour title.
She joined the PWBA for the 2017 season, but only plans to bowl the Queens as she recovers from a knee injury and looks forward to representing Singapore in several overseas events, including the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur in August and the World Bowling World Championships in Kuwait in December.
Lim will do her best to leave a lasting impression during her visit as she attempts to solve the puzzle that is the double-elimination bracket for a second consecutive year.
"I believe that it's important to keep an open mind going in to any competition, whether I've won it before or not," Lim said. "It's always just about finding solutions and giving your best through every single shot, and that's what I'm going to do. I've been training very hard trying to get back in shape as best as I can since my injury, and I'm definitely going to give in my all."
As the defending champion, Lim is guaranteed the No. 64 spot in the bracket, but bowling qualifying will give her a chance to improve her seeding as well as get a feel for the 44-lane River Center.
All competitors at the 2017 Queens will bowl 15 games of qualifying over three days starting May 18 at 9 a.m. Eastern to determine the 63 bowlers who will join Lim in match play.
The match-play bracket will feature three-game matches with total pinfall determining who advances. The five players who make their way through the bracket will advance to the stepladder finals and have the chance to take home the top prize of $20,000.
All rounds of competition leading up to the stepladder finals will be broadcast on Xtra Frame, the exclusive online bowling channel for the Professional Bowlers Association. To subscribe to watch the action on Xtra Frame, visit XtraFrame.TV.
In addition to the Queens, the stepladder finals for the QubicaAMF PWBA Sonoma County Open, PWBA Storm Sacramento Open and PWBA Fountain Valley Open also will be taped at the River Center for broadcast throughout June on CBS Sports Network.